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Old 10-30-2020, 07:01 AM   #1
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Colorado crowds in summer?

We are full timing in a 42 ft. class A, looking to spend the bulk of summer '21 in the mountains of Colorado. I have read a bit on the crowds, getting reservations early, etc. We can stay in FHU campgrounds or boondock, preferring the latter. Looking for opinions on the crowds, which we try to avoid. We are in Smoky Mountains now and the traffic is so bad (30 minute wait to get to the gate of Cades Cove at 8am) that we are skipping a few sights. We like hiking and biking in nature, not the more commercial attractions.
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Old 10-30-2020, 09:48 AM   #2
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We are full timing in a 42 ft. class A, looking to spend the bulk of summer '21 in the mountains of Colorado. I have read a bit on the crowds, getting reservations early, etc. We can stay in FHU campgrounds or boondock, preferring the latter. Looking for opinions on the crowds, which we try to avoid. We are in Smoky Mountains now and the traffic is so bad (30 minute wait to get to the gate of Cades Cove at 8am) that we are skipping a few sights. We like hiking and biking in nature, not the more commercial attractions.
We spent at least 6 - 8 weeks in Colorado this year - Yes it is crowded - but all you need to do to avoid them is ------ Avoid the high traffic areas.

Ouray was Crowded as was Ridgeway and Montrose - So San Juans will require some research as to where and how to get to the Non-crowded spots - there are many.

The Collegiates were also Crowded but we were able to get in to some Great Dispersed Camping areas and loved it.................So just do a little research.

All around Denver is almost crazy............we tried but there is just nothing open unless you have extremely advanced reservations.......so I'd advise just skipping the Front Range - RMNP was on appointment only - - just not for us so we stayed away - but we also usually avoid it at al costs in season anyway.

Dino - was fun if you are into the Desert along with Flaming Gorge and Steamboat.

In summation - Colorado is so Good you just need to Go and be fine with being Mobile to get to where you want to be - Last note the September and October time frames are the BEST!!!!!!!! - look at that option as crowds thinned and weather is Awesome!

Best of Luck,
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Old 10-30-2020, 01:05 PM   #3
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If you're willing to boondock on public lands you won't have the issues you would by staying in RV parks.
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Old 11-03-2020, 05:49 PM   #4
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Fortunately all the newbies like FHU and reservations so this past summer we had no problems finding sites for 2 big rigs...using no hookups and no reservations sites. Did a combination of dispersed, USFS CGs that do not take reservations and a few Private CGs. Did book FHU a week in advance for Sunday or Monday once we knew where we’d be...forget Friday or Saturday. Did RMNP from Grand Lake by going in after 5PM...no reservation needed and pretty sure reservations are no longer being required.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:42 AM   #5
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Yes, it is crowded. For good reason: it's beautiful.. The good news is that if you hike, you will be away from the crowds within a few minutes after leaving the trailhead.

The only exception is on the east side of RMNP, where the hiking trails were busy.

If you have not been to Colorado, I would strongly advise you to go. We have been all over the West and Western Canada, and Colorado was amazing.
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Old 11-05-2020, 07:13 PM   #6
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Yes, it is crowded. For good reason: it's beautiful.. The good news is that if you hike, you will be away from the crowds within a few minutes after leaving the trailhead.

The only exception is on the east side of RMNP, where the hiking trails were busy.

If you have not been to Colorado, I would strongly advise you to go. We have been all over the West and Western Canada, and Colorado was amazing.
Sorry Dan - I need to Disagree Just a little - while it Was Amazing - It IS Today and Continues to Be just more Amazing every time we Go. - -

If people look into your Blogs/Post of your trips they will also see just how beautiful it is - But if they do a Deep Dive into your Images they will quickly Discover - that YOU - by getting off the Main Trails and Hiking Deep into the Wilds and taking such great images have a great eye for what we all search for.

So Dan's right, You need to Go - if the crowds are an issue then work into different times of the year - Heaters work just Like Air Conditioners -

JMHO,
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Old 11-05-2020, 07:29 PM   #7
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Also take a look at Idaho. Many beautiful places to go. Sawtooth National Rec Area in central ID has great hiking and fishing. Northern ID is great too. You wonít be disappointed and it is less crowded.
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Old 11-06-2020, 04:30 AM   #8
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Thanks, we will persevere and start looking for boondocking sites we can get to. Nice to hear from Ivylog that big rigs can get to good sites. We just started fulltiming in Sept, currently in the east, and planning our first western summer. Will get to Idaho, it is big on our list, but not till the following summer.
Smoky mountains are very nice, but the crowds this fall did get to us. The combination of leaf season and Covid made for record numbers here.

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Old 11-06-2020, 07:53 AM   #9
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Thanks, we will persevere and start looking for boondocking sites we can get to. Nice to hear from Ivylog that big rigs can get to good sites. We just started fulltiming in Sept, currently in the east, and planning our first western summer. Will get to Idaho, it is big on our list, but not till the following summer.
Smoky mountains are very nice, but the crowds this fall did get to us. The combination of leaf season and Covid made for record numbers here.

Steve
Let me suggest a couple areas that may work for you in Colorado - Black Canyon from the North side - Even in season fewer people and many spots to sneak into and stay.

Dino National Monument on the Border of Colorado and Utah - While the Bones are always crowded the rest of the Park is Spectacular and again even in season very few people, with many options for CCG's in the surrounds.

Grand Mesa and Marble along with RT 133 again will amaze you at the Sheer Beauty - if you venture into the wilds you may get a peek at Crystal Mills, on one of the many 4x4 trails that are available.

We stayed in a great Dispersed site off RT 24 near Red Cliff with the Creek and the Mountains surrounding us. Twin Lakes has a few great spots that are near the Lake - with great Cell Service so you are not without any connections.

So Ivy (Dick) is correct, there are many, many options that just require a little research - or reaching out to the locals - last note here if you feel you need FHU's they are available, for the most part they are just harder to get than the Dispersed sites.

After spending a few weeks with the Family everyone went home and we ended up in Delta for a week - stayed in a FHU site at a great price with the temps at 99-100 - yes we thought we would Cook our old Bones - BUT - With humidity near 5% I found it was enjoyable to sit in the shade and just relax - when the temps got down to 80 I needed a long sleeve shirt - - crazy but true. so Colorado has just soooooo much to offer, all you need to do is go and enjoy.

Will try to post a few Images - just to stir your Interest.

Best of Luck
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Old 11-06-2020, 09:46 AM   #10
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Great pics, as always Busskipper. Iíve got to ask though, was that 3rd one taken in Australia?
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:02 AM   #11
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Just a thought but you may want to just check into the status of where you do end up itinerary wise going, regarding the fire outcomes that were rife there this year.

We absolutely love Colorado state, together with parts of Montana we are very much drawn there. Maybe because we are from Alberta and the Rocky Mountains are our backyard so to speak that we spend a lot of time in. We just always feel so "content and at home" in Colorado. Enjoy! We are envious of your plans especially right now
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:20 AM   #12
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Great pics, as always Busskipper. I’ve got to ask though, was that 3rd one taken in Australia?
Must have been, as I try to save everything in the correct view - sorry for that.

These - not from Down Under but in our Dispersed site off RT 24 near Red Cliff.
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Old 11-06-2020, 10:58 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the awesome pics! Colorado is a beautiful state.
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Old 11-06-2020, 11:57 AM   #14
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Crowds are terrible, everyoneís rude, no place to park. All the beautiful pictures you see are photoshopped. Just a truly awful place to be. Better not come, you wonít enjoy it!

Your mileage may vary...




Seriously, this nicer places are always crowded, and it was much worse this year. Next year is looking to be as bad or worse, although the impact of the fires remains to be seen. RMNP and the surrounding area were hit hard, and itís likely that some number of RV parks were affected.

Best advice is to book early and plan for crowds.

Regards,

Randy
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